Tapestry of Faith: Building Bridges: A World Religions Program for 8th-9th Grades

Activity 2: Hope for Tomorrow

Activity time: 25 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Paper, drawing supplies, painting supplies, old magazines, scissors, and glue
  • Coverings for floor and table surfaces
  • Optional: Music and music player

Preparation for Activity

  • Invite participants to bring old tee shirts or protective clothing for using art materials.
  • Determine where you can display a selection of the youths' completed artwork, preferably in a public congregational space.
  • Set protective coverings on surfaces and set out art materials.
  • Optional: Select 15-20 minutes of reflective music that sounds hopeful to you, and prepare to play it while participants create artwork.

Description of Activity

Say, in your own words:

  • One of Judaism's most far-reaching contributions is its orientation toward hope for a better tomorrow.
  • Judaism is the first of the messianic faiths. Messianic means to look to a messiah, or holy messenger, to bring peace and unity to the world. Ancient Jews captured hope in the expectation of a messiah-a leader who would help their nation establish and spread peace.
  • This deeply ingrained hope laid groundwork for Christianity, which identified the expected messiah as Jesus.
  • The hope of a better tomorrow also spurs the Jewish passion for social justice. In Judaism, hope goes hand-in-hand with the belief in tikkun olam-the faithful obligation to repair the world, as part of the covenant with God.

Facilitate a discussion with questions such as:

  • Have you ever thought about hope as a foundation of society? Do you think our society is based on hope, or not? Why?
  • How do having hope and not having hope differ? How could having hope make a difference in how someone lives their life, and what they believe about life?
  • Do you ever think some things will be better in the future? How will this happen?

Invite youth to create images of what they hope for themselves, the people they love, their congregation, and their world. This assignment may be a stretch for youth who do not feel especially hopeful or youth who have adopted a pessimistic or dour persona. Encourage them to express even a small hope they have, perhaps for a sunny day or to do well on a test. Assure them that even small hopes can shine bright!

When youth complete their creations, involve everyone in clean-up. Invite volunteers to talk about their art. Ask youth if they are willing to include their works in a display. Some may wish to take their artwork home instead.